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will beach road repairs hold on obx?

As the Atlantic Ocean rages, the fragile repair of the beach road just north of the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk seems close to failure.

Sandbags exposed by wave action at repaired section of the Beach Road. Photo, Kip Tabb

Sandbags exposed by wave action at repaired section of the beach road on Wednesday. Photo, Kip Tabb

Following a late season nor’easter last spring, approximately 150 yards of the road were undermined by the sea and had collapsed. To repair the damage, NCDOT pounded a steel retaining wall into the sand then layered sandbags to form a base for the new roadbed.

Completed in late July, the repaired road appears to be fighting a losing battle with the sea once again. A powerful if unfocused low is slowly drifting to a landfall somewhere in South Carolina, and 9’ seas and 25 mph NE winds are pounding the Outer Banks coast in its wake.

Sandbags and retaining wall, July 2015. Photo, Kip Tabb

Sandbags and retaining wall, July 2015. Photo, Kip Tabb

At high tide on Wednesday, sandbags had been exposed by the constant pummeling of the waves, and with four days to go until the expected Saturday exit of the system, no one is sure how much more damage will be done.

NCDOT officials have indicated they are monitoring the situation daily and felt the road was safe for use through Wednesday and that decisions about the road would be made at various times throughout the days to come.  

We’ll update this story if changes occur.

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